Title: In the Rain [1/?]
Description: Haruko forgets to bring her umbrella one rainy afternoon, and then...
Notes: Inspired from the flu I'm having now and the rains outside... Set in their sophomore year. 'Nuff said.
Disclaimer: Slam Dunk belongs to Takehiko Inoue. The characters are only being used for fun. No profit is being earned. Please don't sue me.
Haruko looked once more at the gray sky that enveloped probably most of Kanagawa. The sounds of the hard rain hitting against the ground and the booms of thunder harmonized into a depressing melody that rang through her ears. She was standing near the school entrance, waiting for the rain to stop. She sighed and tried to think of a way on how she could get home with and scolded herself why she had to forget her umbrella on such a day. She looked at her watch. 4:30. Maybe she could go to the gym and ask Ayako-san for some help. Oops.
Practice was cancelled that day due to an impending storm. She could have gone home with her brother now, but the problem was, Akagi Takenori had gradated from Shohoku High School ten months ago.
//How will I get home now?// Haruko looked around the lobby and found no one. Everybody else had gone home. Not all the students are asked by the teachers to stay over at school and get some scolding.
She shifted her position uneasily and gazed outside. It was quite impossible for the rains to stop, much less, to quiet down. There was a storm coming. What else could possibly happen?
//Haruko no baka,// she thought to herself. She had to leave now or the storm would only worsen.
//I can always change into dry clothes when I get home.// She sighed again and slowly opened the door. The moment she did, strong winds rushed in front of her. It was too dangerous to go home alone, and without an umbrella to boot.
Well, it was her fault in the first place.
"Ike, Haruko," she calmly told herself. She thought that maybe she can run to the train station. That wasn't a very good idea but she had no choice. She slowly stepped out of the door and then started to make a run.
She felt slashes of wind and water cut through her face. Her hair matted down her forehead, and so did the clothes on her body. Streaks of mud decorated her white socks, and even up to her skirt. After a few minutes, finally, she reached the gate. For her, though, it already seemed a kilometer's run.
Haruko stopped for a while to catch her breath. No matter how fit she was, running in the rain wasn't an easy job.
She was surprised to hear another voice on the campus grounds and was shocked that it belonged to the person she least expected.
Rukawa Kaede. He stood there in front of her, holding an umbrella as if answering her prayers.
Haruko could barely speak. Rukawa Kaede was the most popular guy in Shohoku High School. He had black hair and cold, dark, blue eyes that sent a girl to heaven with each glare. Not only was he good-looking, he was also an outstanding basketball player. He had been popular enough during his freshman year, but now, he was all over campus. His popularity increased the Shohoku cheering squad enough to equal that of the almost all-girl Takezono High School. On top of that, he had been Haruko's crush since junior high school. That was probably something Rukawa knew, but decided to ignore.
Or at least she thought he did, until now...
"R-rukawa-k-kun," she managed to stammer. She couldn't help but blush to light shade of pink, though.
"My house is near the train station. I can walk you up to that place."
This sounded like a dream come true to Haruko. Her junior high school crush, the ace of the Shohoku basketball team, Rukawa Kaede, was offering to walk her to the train station. She wanted to do nothing but scream, and of course, get under the umbrella with Rukawa. She thought on how people would think if they see them walking underneath the same umbrella. They might look like a couple to them. They would look so close. She felt her cheeks flush up, and tried to push the idea of intimacy out of her mind.
"Oi. "Do you want to or not?"
Haruko was shaken out of her thoughts. Rukawa was starting to look impatient.
"Ah, gomen..." Haruko said and went to Rukawa's side.
They started to walk. Haruko knew that the train staion was only a 15-minute walk from the school. She sighed quietly. It was only going to be short. She had to make full use of it.
Now, why would Rukawa offer to walk her to the train station? Maybe he felt sorry for her because she had no umbrella. Maybe Rukawa just wanted to help the former captain's sister. Or maybe he felt something special for her. Haruko beamed at the thought of the latter idea. Of course she wanted that to be true. She decided to take a gamble of her feelings, hoping that the last statement was so.
She thought of something to say. "Anou... arigatou, Rukawa-kun," she managed to stammer again.
Rukawa only remained quiet and continued to walk without saying a word.
She could barely tell what Rukawa was thinking, while she was exploding with different emotions inside her. Her small body was pressed tightly against his hard and lean build and once in a while, his hand brushed against hers, giving Haruko a tingling sensation that seemed to send her to heaven. Ironically, his cold presence gave warmth to her wet and shivering body. Haruko couldn't have been more contented. She was probably the luckiest girl in the world. Now, if only she could get him to talk.
"Anou... I think the team is doing well," she began, attempting to pull out some words from Rukawa.
"Sure," was Rukawa's only reply.
"Oniichan will be very happy if he sees you guys now. Miyagi-san is a very good captain. You and Sakuragi-kun are performing great, as well."
"Yeah." There was no change in his voice at all. He only continued to look ahead and pay attention to the road.
Haruko decided that her efforts to make Rukawa talk were futile. Meanwhile, the rain was getting worse and worse. Both of them were getting wet even with the umbrella. By the time they reached the train station, they were both soaking.
Haruko's heart went down upon seeing that they were about to part. She wished that Rukawa would talk, even at this last moment. He acted so coldly like he usually did. Maybe Rukawa just felt sorry for her and nothing more. Just charity...
"Here," Rukawa's voice suddenly said. She was surprised to hear him talk. She looked at him.
Rukawa had gone out of the shelter of the umbrella and was handing it to her. "This will be of more use to you. My house is just a few blocks away, anyway. Take it."
"But Rukawa-kun," Haruko protested.
Rukawa gently pushed the umbrella to her face. "Take it. Don't make me feel responsible."
She blushed and shakily took the umbrella from Rukawa's hand. "A-arigatou, Rukawa-kun." She gave a small guilty smile that begged forgiveness.
"Don't be sorry." The cold voice seemed to scold her and comfort her at the same time. Haruko bowed her head.
"Next time, don't froget to bring your umbrella," Rukawa said, then walked away, letting the rain fall on him. He walked with the same monotonous air, as if it was as sunny as summer.
Haruko followed him with her gaze and tightened her grip on the umbrella.
She wanted to run after him and thank him even more, and probably, finally confess to him. She suddenly wanted to give out everything she had felt for the past three years she had known him. It was a good chance. Kami-sama probbaly fabricated the whole thing for her. But it was too late.
She stepped on the train without taking her gaze away from Rukawa. Slowly, he disappeared into the rain. Haruko could only blame herself for her own foolishness as she slowly wiped her face from something she couldn't distinguish beetween rain water and a tear drop.
~Tsuzuku~ or ~Owari~ ?
++ "anou..." - "uuuhhhmmm..."
++ "arigatou" - "thank you."
++ "Matte." - Wait."
P.S. Should I let this stand as oneshot or continue it? Please tell me what you think.